Background: Both EUS and ERCP sampling techniques may provide tissue diagnoses in suspected malignant biliary obstruction. However, there are scant data comparing these 2 methods.
Objective: To compare EUS-guided FNA (EUS-FNA) and ERCP tissue sampling for the diagnosis of malignant biliary obstruction.
Design: Prospective, comparative, single-blind study.
Setting: Tertiary center.
Patients: Fifty-one patients undergoing same-session EUS and ERCP for the evaluation of malignant biliary obstruction over a 1-year period.
Interventions: EUS-FNA and ERCP tissue sampling with biliary brush cytology and intraductal forceps biopsies.
Main outcome measurements: Diagnostic sensitivity and accuracy of each sampling method compared with final diagnoses.
Results: EUS-FNA was more sensitive and accurate than ERCP tissue sampling (P < .0001) in 51 patients with pancreatic cancers (n = 34), bile duct cancers (n = 14), and benign biliary strictures (n = 3). The overall sensitivity and accuracy were 94% and 94% for EUS-FNA, and 50% and 53% for ERCP sampling, respectively. EUS-FNA was superior to ERCP tissue sampling for pancreatic masses (sensitivity, 100% vs 38%; P < .0001) and seemed comparable for biliary masses (79% sensitivity for both) and indeterminate strictures (sensitivity, 80% vs 67%).
Limitations: Single-center study.
Conclusion: EUS-FNA is superior to ERCP tissue sampling in evaluating suspected malignant biliary obstruction, particularly for pancreatic masses. EUS-FNA appears similar to ERCP sampling for biliary tumors and indeterminate strictures. Given the superior performance characteristics of EUS-FNA and the higher incidence of pancreatic cancer compared with cholangiocarcinoma, EUS-FNA should be performed before ERCP in all patients with suspected malignant biliary obstruction. (
Clinical trial registration number: NCT01356030.).
Copyright © 2014 American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.